After retiring from the NFL in 2015, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain and his wife, Keisha, knew it was time to invest in something they cared about, ideally in the area of health and fitness. After going to several conferences and researching franchising opportunities, they found the best option in Retro Fitness and opened a location together in Catonsville.
“Retro Fitness immediately felt like a good fit with their team aspect, which was something I missed after retiring,” says Jameel. The gym, which has been open since the beginning of January, already has 1,200 members. “We want people to stop needing five different gym memberships,” says Keisha. “We want to be a one-stop shop.”
The gym offers group fitness classes, 108 pieces of equipment, and team training—which is a personalized hour-long group workout during which your heart rate is monitored for maximum performance. Retro Fitness also offers some unique features that you don’t generally find at your neighborhood gym, like a cardio movie theater where you can run on the treadmill while watching the latest blockbuster, machines designed to add elements of interactive gaming to your workout, and a 25-yard turf complete with yard lines and markers.
“Other Retro Fitness locations have the turf, but we’re the only ones who have the yard lines,” boasts Jameel with a smile, an obvious nod to his time in the NFL.
The 18,000-square-foot space also offers child care, a smoothie bar, tanning beds, and an outdoor training area that will open this spring. “We are a gym for everyone,” Jameel says. “What makes our establishment so special is that you are always competing against the best version of yourself.”